Barbara Poczyniak, R.Ac Registered Acupuncturist
Acupuncture is fast becoming an important part of many women's IUI and IVF protocols. More and more women working with Reproductive Endocrinologists are actively seeking out acupuncture as an effective supportive therapy. A number of fertility clinics recommend it as a natural therapy that can be safely used to help prepare the body alongside conventional fertility treatments. It is often lauded as a natural way to help relieve stress during this time. We often get the questions: "How often should I get acupuncture?" "When to start?" and "When is it most useful?"
Acupuncture 3 to 6 months before starting IVF
If it is realistic for you to start early that would be ideal. In order to optimize the chances of having a successful cycle and healthy pregnancy it is generally recommended to start proper nutrition, stress reduction and acupuncture treatments at least 3 months prior to the start of fertility treatment.
Based on maternal age, fertility history and any other ongoing health factors a longer time frame 3 - 6 months preparation time might suggested instead.
Your practitioner will likely want to see you on a fairly regular basis and will customize a treatment plan based on where you are at and what is needed. In general we like to see patients on a weekly basis, or perhaps every 2 weeks, often alternating or combing acupuncture with the Arvigo® Therapy techniques. We also make recommendations for important self care strategies during this time of preparation - these may include Arvigo® Therapy self care massage, castor packs or traditional pelvic steaming.
Acupuncture 1 to 2 months before starting IVF
If you have less time to work with it is still very beneficial to get acupuncture within this shorter time frame. We would then recommend having more frequent acupuncture treatments in the 4-8 weeks prior to retrieval. Depending on your Chinese Medicine diagnosis, fertility profile and your individual ultrasound results, acupuncture would be scheduled for once or twice a week up to embryo retrieval. Each woman's treatment schedule may be different, but we generally recommend acupuncture treatments twice weekly in the days before and after retrieval. Read more about how acupuncture helps during this time.
Acupuncture pre and post IVF transfer
We know that finances can often be a big factor in these decisions. Or perhaps you are reading this only a few days from your transfer date. If you can only get acupuncture pre and post IVF transfer this would still be very supportive. There is a lot of research showing acupuncture to be of help with relaxation, blood flow and stress reduction on the actual day of transfer. If this is the only option available for you it is still something that can be beneficial, Ideally, it should be done as close to the actual transfer time as possible. We offer pre and post transfer acupuncture on location at your fertility clinic, or if that is not an option for you it can also be performed at our acupuncture clinic the day or morning prior.
Acupuncture in the post transfer period and onward
Acupuncture is also recommended in the 'waiting period' after your embryo transfer. Here, (as always) the focus is on supporting your body and helping keep you relaxed during this time. In early pregnancy and onward, acupuncture can also be helpful to gently address a number of issues including morning sickness symptoms.
Interested in adding Acupuncture and/or Arvigo® Therapy to support you in preparing for IUI or IVF? Please contact me for more information or for your complimentary 20 minute consultation.
DISCLAIMER: Please note the content on this website is intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional, nor is it meant to diagnose or treat a health problem, symptom or disease. Always speak with your physician or other healthcare professional before taking any medication, nutritional supplement or using any treatment for a health problem. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, contact your health provider promptly. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking professional advice because of something you have read on this website. Information provided on this website does not create professional relationship between you and Vital Bloom Wellness or Barbara Poczyniak.
Hi, I'm Barbara Poczyniak. Registered Acupuncturist practicing in Toronto.